The fact that industrial control systems may be vulnerable to infiltration by other citizens, or international parties puts laws pertaining to intersection of systems transmission at the forefront of priorities for us all.
At present, telecommunications interference of private citizens holds an up to a five-year prison sentence by U.S. federal law. How cyberterrorism is addressed, when the stakes are heightened, leaves a whole host of opportunities for citizens, and legislators to voice their opinion as new technologies for privacy invasion come on the market.
Every ISP access point imaginable is cited within the literature on cyberterrorism, including direct access networks, maintenance of dial-up modems, and of course the internet, remote systems architectures. Exponential information like SCADA systems create an incredibly vulnerable area for hackers interested in “knowledge sharing” network data toward sabotage of industrial operations and state military interests. DHS strategic responsibilities take care of the broad brush stroke where it professionals leave off, through ongoing development of crisis management, as illustrated in Table 1.
Comprehensive national plan for continued security in cyber-systems;
Crisis management in response to attacks on critical information systems;
Technical assistance to private sector and other government entities in regard to urgent recovery plans following emergencies;
Coordination with other agencies in the federal government in design and education on protective countermeasures and warnings at the state, local and NGO organization levels;
Performing and funding research with new scientific developments in security technologies as a goal; and Serving the general public as a federal center for cyber-security.
Table 1. Crisis Management Goals (DHS, 2003).
In 2003, pursuant to section 994(p) of title 28, United States Code, the United States Sentencing Commission published Congressional guidelines to the conviction of parties in violation of Section 225 of the Cyber Security Enhancement Act of the Homeland Security Act, 2002. The amendment stipulates,
“modifies §2B2.3, to which 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(3) (misdemeanor trespass on a government computer) offenses are referenced, and §2B3.2, to which 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(7) (extortionate demand to damage protected computer) offenses are referenced to provide enhancements relating to computer systems used to maintain or operate a critical infrastructure, or by or for a government entity in furtherance of the administration of justice, national defense, or national security. The amendment expands the scope of existing enhancements to ensure that trespasses and extortions involving these types of important computer systems are addressed” (Homeland Security Act, Amendment).
The definition of ‘government entity’ as any infrastructure having to with state administration extends to relationships where the government is in public-private partnership, including control of energy distribution, where crimes fraud, the major emphasis on enhancements to convictions are stipulated to be in support of sentencing for 18 U.S.C. § 1030(e)(9).Section 2B3.2(b)(3)(B)(V). The provision also points to critical infrastructure, and violation of the rule as “damage to a computer system used to maintain or operate a critical infrastructure, or by or for a government entity in furtherance of the administration of justice, national defense, or national security” (Homeland Security Act, Amendment 2003).
The Environmental Liberation Front (ELF) a U.S. based radical advocacy group fulfills the criterion for sentencing under the classification of organised ‘terrorism.’ Extremist conduct in court record where the group was responsible for a range of ecoterrorist attacks on U.S. interests, the ELF is also the sole responsible party to the most costly environmental disasters in contemporary history; a $12 million arson in Vail, Colorado in 1995 and $50 million arson of a housing construction site in San Diego, California, in 2003. Actions against the group also include violation of the U.S. federal government in a dispute solicited by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (ADL 2010). A Brief history of Ecoterrorism is presented in ‘jest’ on the ELF organization website, illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1. A Brief History of Ecoterrorism (ELF 2010).
Destruction of property is the intentional outcome of crimes commissioned by the ELF as a ‘terrorist organization.’ ‘Unlawful use of force’ serves as additional criteria to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) filed suit, where the ELF has resorted to,
“the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (Harwood 2008).
Law enforcement efforts in tackling disaggregated networks of organized terrorist cells, most often in communication exclusively by internet, has increased federal and state operations in the area of coordinated security response in an attempt to root out extremist activities by those parties, prior to attack.
With the ecoterrorist tendency to also be highly developed in the area of digitized technology, as those resources are critical to terrorist bombing innovations and of course collaboration on arson, cyberterrorism has proven to be a distinct priority in the monitoring and combat of recognized environmental extremists with prior criminal record in this area. Sentencing domestic terrorists in covered in the next section, but for those victims of their “protectionist” movement, the line between arson and treason is too distant.
“For neither in war nor yet at law ought any man to use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death; and in other dangers there are other ways of escaping death, if a man is willing to say and do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death.” — Trial of Socrates
Conspiracy and treason run parallel to terrorism where sovereign right of citizens to domestic peace and protection in common law countries should not be subject to organized acts of violence on behalf of extra-national, international, or vigilante regimes. As felony legal charges in the United States, the cumulative error of the cyber-terrorist offense(s) may involve sentencing to attendant charges, and including treason up to capital punishment consideration of the death penalty. At the beginning of the discussion, initial queries into the study of terrorism and its infiltration into the microscopic world of cyber-terrorist intrusion are posited as having the potential to impact national U.S. infrastructure up to the point of disaster. Review of the objectives to the preceding analysis of terrorism as threat to national security is outlined in Table 2.
What the current policy is regarding the tracking of potential suspects in the war against terrorism?
How we should weigh the fears of terrorism and desire for national security against civil liberties and individual rights?
What is the just response to terrorism?
Should those who commit lethal acts of terrorism for political or religious causes receive the death penalty?
Table 2. Objectives to the analysis of terrorism.
If charges to terrorism seem evidentiary, and they are where proof that the commission of the act of those crimes is found to be beyond a shadow of a doubt in a court of law, sentencing may proceed. Where enforceability and latent application of law to suspected terrorists has become the site of critical debate in the past several years, is where those defendants and the extent of the their guilt are superseded by long-term incarceration, as witnessed in the U.S. Federal detention of suspected international terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, outside of normal civilian due process.
Military detention of those suspected defendants has wrought extensive criticism by the international legal community under the UN Convention of Human Rights. Nevertheless, alliance in building formative security measures into international foreign protocol where terrorism is concerned is still of great import, and as discussed, the U.S. along with the UK and other allies have implemented a range anti-terrorist missions, legislation, and even precise statute toward mitigation of cyber-terrorism.
The domestic factor linked to Ecoterrorist activities, and charges against its actors adds complexity to both investigation and sentencing of organized terror, in that U.S. citizens are both incumbent to the responsibilities of sovereign citizenship, and also to the right of protection where illegal search, seizure and arrest might be enforced through criminal procedure. In Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 409 F.2d 718, 1969 U.S. App. LEXIS 12867 (2d Cir. N.Y., 1969) an express case against the U.S. government revealed unconstitutional application of criminal procedure at the level of the trial court is discussed. A counter complaint, Plaintiff, Bivens charged that federal agents conducted a warrantless search and seizure, violating the plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights. U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned the immunity defense by state actors, yet denied Bivens request for compensatory remedies and remanded the case to new trial.
Fourth Amendment procedural law articulates that only partial consideration is necessary to sustain claim against the state when it has been proven that the plaintiff has sustained unlawful arrest, often seek remedy to improper execution of warrant.…